"My friends are angry at me because I am going on a trip with my boyfriend for all of spring break. They have since planned a trip, too, and honestly I would rather go on a trip with them since it is our senior year. After sharing this sentiment with my friends, it somehow made its way back to my boyfriend, and now he is bitter. What should I do?"
You obviously care about both your boyfriend and your close friends and face a tough decision. Since it is your senior year, you should spend it with your close friends, as you may never have the opportunity again. However, with some creativity, you can solve your problem without alienating your boyfriend.
Ancient French legend tells of the infamously speedy monster, the gargouille, who terrorized boats on the Seine with his incredible agility and ability to breathe fire. Instead of going into direct battle, Saint Romain used the sign of the cross to tame the monster and lure him into town so he could burn the dragon until it turned into a harmless stone gargoyle. Likewise, you can tame your boyfriend by making sure to use signs of affection. He wants to go on spring break with you to spend quality alone time with you.
Make plans to do things he likes to do throughout the year and tell him how important he is to you. He may be disappointed, but make sure that he understands what he means to you. Just like Saint Romain, you face a monster, except instead of a fire-breathing water serpent, you must conquer your boyfriend's sense of dejection and hurt feelings. With some subtlety and a little bit of luck, you too will be successful.
Finding a balance between your friends and your romantic partners is a very important part of the college experience. Open communication is the best way to achive this balance. You are friends with your friends because you like them, and you should be with your significant other for the same reason, so you would be surprised what both parties will understand and how they will work with you to find a balance between the two parts of your life.
In this situation, you probably should have talked to your boyfriend instead of talking about your boyfriend to your friends. Still, now that the damage is done, your best option really is just to talk to your boyfriend. Make it clear to him that, while he is extremely important to you, you would like to spend some time with your friends over Spring Break. Perhaps offer spending other time with him — maybe suggest a weekend trip with just the two of you.
You also need to make it clear to your friends that your boyfriend is important. Just because you would rather go on their trip in this particular case does not mean that he is not important to you, and they should be aware of this. Ultimately, talking to both parties and being open and honest about your feeligs will help you to reach a balance between romance and friendship.
"Ask the Thresher" is an advice column written twice a month, authored by two Thresher editorial staff members. Readers can email their letters to AskTheThresher@gmail.com or submit their questions through formspring at AskTheThresher.